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A new funeral scam is targeting grieving families in Pennsylvania | FOX43 Finds Out

Scammers are scanning obituaries and trying to convince family members to hand over their credit card information for a funeral-related payment.

YORK, Pa. — Scammers have hit a new low and are targeting grieving families.

FOX43 Finds Out how the crooks are now scanning obituaries to find their next victim.

"I was shaking I was so mad."

John Markle had just wrapped up planning the final arrangements for his dad's funeral at Heffner's Funeral Chapel and Crematory in York County when he got a phone call.

The caller said he was Liam, a funeral director at Heffner's. 

"He said he was overlooking our contract and it said we didn't purchase the urn insurance or casket insurance," said Markle.

The caller then asked for Markle's credit card to make the payment over the phone. Mark said, "It just didn't sound right."

He hung up and called the number on a card he had from Heffner's funeral home and they told him it was a scam.

The scammer had the nerve to call back, this time they spoofed the actual funeral home's number.

"I told them no, it's a scam, and people like you should probably burn in hell," said Markle.

Ernie Heffner, the owner of Heffnercare.com said, "It's a nationwide scam, but it's happening in this county and it's happening in other counties in Pennsylvania."

Heffner has been in the funeral industry for decades. He says these scammers are scanning obituaries to find grieving families to target and he also adds that it's disgusting. 

In this case, they found John's name in his dad's obituary just hours after it was posted. Then the name of the funeral home and a quick search on the website to pose as the funeral director, Liam.

Markle said, "It's pretty sophisticated and semi-believable if you're not thinking clearly."

Now Heffner's has posted a fraud warning to all of the families planning funerals. "So remember, don't give out your credit card number, contact the funeral home right away, or if you suspect anything just hang up," Heffner advised.

Markle was glad he knew something was wrong and didn't lose any money. He just hopes his story will remind other families to ask questions. 

If you have a story you want Jackie De Tore to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.  

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